Leticia Vélez on Success: Keep It by Giving It Away

In 2004, Leticia "Letty" Vélez (pictured center) started her transportation company, Chicago Mini Bus Travel, with just 10 buses. Within the first year she had doubled the fleet, bringing in over 2 million dollars in sales. Today it is the largest mini bus company in the Chicago area.

What’s the secret behind her impressive success? Letty’s amazing drive, intense focus and her vision to create a strong management team with a strategic plan for growth would be a solid foundation for any business. However, she credits her dedication to giving back to la comunidad by mentoring and connecting with other Latinas for taking Chicago Mini Bus to the next level.

She told PBS’ To The Contrary: “I think mentoring is key. If I meet someone and I see some type of relationship building there and I see that they have so much knowledge, I need that mentoring. I’m not shy anymore and I ask for assistance because I need that.”

This rare ability to recognize gaps in her own knowledge -- and the even rarer ability to reach out and ask for help -- gives her unique insight into the importance of giving back. She goes on to say: “…as Hispanic women, we’re the backbone of the Hispanic community.... We’re creating the future.”

This veteran businesswoman is a true example of a mujer con la falda bien puesta. Her incredible dedication to philanthropy and involvement in the community paves the way for countless future Latina businesswomen. The rewards for Letty Vélez are innumerable. The bonds she’s forged with her employees, fellow entrepreneurs and her community are priceless.

by Valeria Guston